The National Quality Standard states that services take an active role in caring for its environment and contributes to a sustainable future (standard 3.3). “Sustainability is “environment education”. It’s everything that we need for our survival and well-being relating directly to our natural environment. ” (Aussie Childcare Network, 2015)
- It is important to engage children in discussions about sustainable practices e.g. noticing a full bin, food scraps and wastage
- We encourage children to participate in a recycling program (recycling bins for cardboard, plastic and paper) or involve them in developing new strategies for recycling materials (using donated materials for art n craft or donating materials to council clean ups etc.)
- We discuss environmental issues such as daily weather reports including updates on air quality and pollution levels with the preschoolers
- We remind the children of the importance of being “Energy Savers” (responsible for appliances left on when not in use). Likewise, choose ‘Water Savers” (responsible for noticing taps left on and other wasted water) .
Here are some photos of the children gardening, they planted carrot and broccoli seeds:
We found some grubs!
It has been amazing to have people in our community that bring in tins, toilet rolls, boxes, string and tape. Families have also brought in cardboard, plastic bottles and toilet rolls in for craft. Having such a big emphasis on recycling and reusing materials and reducing waste teaches awareness and supports children to ‘become environmentally responsible and show respect for the environment’ (Element 3.3.2).
The references below guide us in our sustainable practices within the Centre:
- Little Green Steps – Sustainability Education in Childcare Centre
- Greening Services: Practical Sustainability by Rachel Kinsella
- Putting Children First Issue 19 – Environmental Experiences
All timber toys are purchased from “Hornsby Shire Men’s Tool Shed” a community program for retired men. These toys are made from recycled timbers and lead free paints.
We have a worm farm and a compost bin. The children have been actively involved in caring for the worms and learning lots about composting and gardening. Many children have transferred their knowledge from home to day care in looking after plants. They are proud to share their gardening experiences from home with the class.
The children have helped set up a brand new worm farm purchased from “Backyard in a Box”. The children were actively involved in putting it together. They got their hands dirty by squeezing out water from the bedding block and took turns to hold the worms in their hands. We also had a class discussion on caring for the worms. Over the next few months, the children will continue to be actively involved in caring for the worms and engage in experiences to further their understanding of sustainability.
Please take a look at the website below for exciting resources this company provides: